'Abd Al-Hadi Al-Iraqi

Nashwan Abdulbaqi
Picture of al-Iraqi
Born (1961-09-21) September 21, 1961 (age 60)
Mosul, Iraq
Detained atGuantanamo
Alternate nameAbdulhadi al-Iraqi
Alleged to be a member ofAl-Qaeda

Nashwan Abdulrazaq Abdulbaqi al-Tamir (Arabic: نشوان عبدالرزاق عبدالباقي التامر),[1] better known as Abdulhadi al-Iraqi (Arabic: عبدالهادي العراقي) is an Iraqi member of Al-Qaeda[2][3][4] who is now in US custody at Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.[5][6][7]

Early life[]

al-Iraqi was born in Mosul to a Sunni Arab family in 1961.[6] He speaks Arabic as his first language, and later learned Urdu, Pashto, Kurdish, and Persian.[8][9] He served in the Iraqi Army, and fought for Iraq, during the Iran-Iraq War.[10][11] Then he travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet invasion.[12]

Alleged terrorism activities[]

According to information about him provided by the Pentagon, Hadi was a key paramilitary commander in Afghanistan during the late 1990s, before taking charge of cross-border attacks against US and coalition troops from 2002 to 2004. He was accused of commanding attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan, and of involvement in plots to assassinate Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Following the American invasion in 2001, he clashed with Ahmed Khadr arguing that front line battle would prove more useful than guerilla tactics around Shagai, Pakistan.[12]

Al-Iraqi was alleged to have managed the Ashara guest house, in Kabul's diplomatic district, from where he was alleged to command Al-Qaeda's army, and to have served as al-Qaeda's accountant.[13]

He had been wanted in Iraq since at least February 2005.[14] The most recent U.S. State Department wanted poster[2] said

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi is one of Usama bin Laden’s top global deputies, personally chosen by bin Laden to monitor al Qaeda operations in Iraq. Al-Hadi was the former Internal Operations Chief for al Qaeda. He has been associated with numerous attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has been known to facilitate communication between al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda. Al-Hadi rose to the rank of Major in Saddam Hussein’s army before moving to Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union. He has a reputation for being a skilled, intelligent, and experienced commander and is an extremely well respected al Qaeda leader. He has commanded numerous terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Al-Hadi is reportedly still in contact with Usama bin Laden.

The Newsweek article[8] claimed that al Iraqi brokered a 2005 reconciliation between Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.[8] Newsweek asserted that bin Laden had failed to anticipate the strength of the Iraqi's anti-occupation resistance, and that he dispatched al Iraqi to take charge of establishing an Al-Qaeda presence in the resistance. Newsweek asserted that Zarqawi had left a bad impression on his fellow veterans of the struggle to evict the Soviet invaders, and that bin Laden didn't trust him. However, al Iraqi recommended that Al-Qaeda would be better served by naming Zarqawi the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq than by trying to compete with him for volunteers and establish a parallel effort—explaining the reconciliation.

It was reported in January 2002 that someone with the same pseudonyms Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi and Abu Abdullah had been captured in Afghanistan.[15] That person was also described as a training camp commander. However, despite these coincidences, the two suspects are now known to be distinct people.

Despite the report that Abdul-Hadi spoke several regional languages, several of the charges against Abdul Zahir stem from him serving as a translator for Abdul-Hadi.[16]

A captured letter[17] dated June 13, 2002, and thought to be from Saif al-Adel, mentions an Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi who is quite senior in al-Qaeda and is at large (probably in Afghanistan) at the time of that writing. The US DoD statement says that Abdul-Hadi "during 2002–04, was in charge of cross-border attacks in Afghanistan" and that prior to his capture he "was trying to return to his native country, Iraq, to manage al-Qai`da's affairs and possibly focus on operations outside Iraq against Western targets".


On April 27, 2007, it was reported that he was detained at Guantanamo Bay.[18] He was previously held by the CIA. According to BBC News, US sources told them that al-Iraqi was arrested "late last year", meaning in 2006.[19]

On September 6, 2006, US President George W. Bush officially confirmed that the CIA maintained a secret network of overseas interrogation camps when he announced that fourteen "high value detainees", including al-Iraqi, had been transferred to Guantanamo, from those secret camps.[20]

Bush claimed that the transfer of these fourteen men had emptied the CIA's secret interrogation camps. Critics pointed out that Bush had not announced the closure of the camps, and that the date of al-Iraqi's capture has not been made known. al-Iraqi had a writ of habeas corpus filed on his behalf.[20]

The Department of Defense announced on August 9, 2007 that all fourteen of the "high-value detainees" who had been transferred to Guantanamo from the CIA's black sites, had been officially classified as "enemy combatants".[21] Although judges Peter Brownback and Keith J. Allred had ruled two months earlier that only "illegal enemy combatants" could face military commissions, the Department of Defense waived the qualifier and said that all fourteen men could now face charges before Guantanamo military commissions.[22][23]

Medical condition[]

al-Iraqi suffers from a spinal condition.[24] Camp authorities flew in a neuro-surgical team for an emergency operation, hours before Cuba was struck by Hurricane Irma. According to Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, his lawyers blamed the severity of his spinal condition on a decade of medical mistreatment. Military spokesmen, on the other hand, used him as an example of the high quality treatment the USA provides to captives.

According to his lawyers a CT scan performed in January 2017 pointed out the need for surgery.[25] Camp authorities only scheduled his surgery after he couldn't feel his legs anymore, and couldn't hold his urination or defecation.

On September 15, 2017, his lawyers announced that he needed another surgery on his spine, and in his neck.[25]


  1. ^ "Alleged al-Qaida commander reveals new name in Guantánamo court". miamiherald. Archived from the original on 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  2. ^ a b Wanted poster on Abdulbaqi Archived April 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Rewards for Justice Program, US Department of State
  3. ^ Alleged Qaeda Member Faces Tribunal Archived 2012-08-12 at WebCite, CBS News, 4 April 2006
  4. ^ Iraqi Government releases ’41 Most Wanted’ list Archived April 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Multi-National Force - Iraq, 3 July 2006
  5. ^ Defense Department Takes Custody of a High-Value Detainee Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, United States Department of Defense, 27 April 2007
  6. ^ a b Biographical notes Archived May 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine on Guantanamo Bay prisoner Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (USA)
  7. ^ Man Said to Be Bin Laden Aide Detained by U.S. Archived July 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine The New York Times 27 April 2007.
  8. ^ a b c Terror Broker Archived August 27, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, Newsweek, 11 April 2006
  9. ^ Sami Yousafzai, Ron Moreau (2006-04-11). "Terror Broker". Newsweek. Retrieved 2006-08-27. {{cite web}}: |archive-url= requires |archive-date= (help)
  10. ^ https://ctc.usma.edu/app/uploads/2017/09/CTC-Sentinel_Vol10Iss8-9.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ O'Neill, Sean; Tim Reid; Michael Evans (28 April 2007). "7/7 'mastermind' is seized in Iraq". London: Times Online. Archived from the original on 2010-11-20. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  12. ^ a b Shephard, Michelle, "Guantanamo's Child", 2008.
  13. ^ Amitav Acharya, Hiro Katsumata (2011). "Beyond Iraq: The Future of World Order". World Scientific. pp. 113, 114, 141. ISBN 9789814324878. Retrieved 2016-12-05. As a commander and accountant for al-Qaeda, Abdal Hadi ran both the al-Qaeda Army and maintained an office in the Ashara Guest House in Kart-E-Parwan province in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  14. ^ Press release Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, United States Central Command, 11 February 2005
  15. ^ One of various reports of capture in 2002 Archived August 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ 12 1179-1239.pdf Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdul Zahir's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, pages 1–8
  17. ^ Al-Adl letter to Mukhtar Archived December 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine, English translation by United States Military Academy
  18. ^ "Pentagon: Top al Qaeda leader taken to Guantanamo". CNN. April 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 29 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  19. ^ "US holds 'senior al-Qaeda figure'". BBC News Online. 2007-04-27. Archived from the original on 14 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  20. ^ a b "Pentagon holds key al Qaida figure in Guantanamo". Xinhua. April 28, 2007. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-27.
  21. ^ Lolita C. Baldur (August 9, 2007). "Pentagon: 14 Guantanamo Suspects Are Now Combatants". Time magazine. mirror
  22. ^ Sergeant Sara Wood (June 4, 2007). "Charges Dismissed Against Canadian at Guantanamo". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  23. ^ Sergeant (June 4, 2007). "Judge Dismisses Charges Against Second Guantanamo Detainee". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  24. ^ Carol Rosenberg (2017-09-07). "Doctors beat Irma to Guantánamo to operate on alleged war criminal's spine". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-09-17. Retrieved 2017-09-17. Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, awaiting trial on charges he led the al-Qaida army in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks, has been using a wheelchair and experiencing pain with a bulging lower-back disc from a decade-long degenerative disease, according to his lawyers, who blamed years of "useless treatment" at Guantánamo for the situation.
  25. ^ a b Carol Rosenberg (2017-09-15). "Alleged al-Qaida commander needs more spine surgery; next Guantánamo hearing in doubt". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2017-09-17. Earlier this month, as Hurricane Irma was headed Guantánamo’s way, the captive became incontinent, and the war-on-terror prison scrambled a special neurosurgery team to the base in southeast Cuba to conduct emergency surgery on Hadi’s lower back — a procedure that, according to doctors consulted by defense attorneys, was clearly necessary months ago based on a January CT scan.

External links[]

Media related to Abdul Hadi Al Iraqi at Wikimedia Commons